A Great Dane is a wonderful companion. They are affectionate, intelligent, and easygoing. Although they are quite large, often in excess of 150 pounds, they are relatively easy to care for by following a few simple rules.
The first thing to know about caring for a Great Dane is to monitor their growth. They are prone to growing pains and bone disorders if they grow too rapidly. Do not over feed a Great Dane puppy, and do not feed them a high calorie diet. It is best to utilize a large breed puppy food or a diet developed specifically for Great Danes.
Proper weight maintenance is vital for the care of a Great Dane. Due to their large size, their joints and bones are under a lot of stress. Keeping a Great Dane trim helps the joints stay healthy. It is important to give a joint supplement such as glucosamine and to choose one formulated for animals.
Bloat (Gastric Dilation Volvulus) is a serious medical condition that is prevalent in deep-chested dogs such as Great Danes. This occurs when there is too much air or fluid in the stomach that swells the stomach and cuts off vital circulation. The stomach may or may not twist as well. While there is no definitive way to prevent bloat, there are steps to take that will lessen the likelihood. Do not feed a Great Dane too much at one time, and have at least two meals a day. Take care that a Great Dane does not drink too much at a time. It is best to let them relax before and after meals. Try not to let a Great Dane gulp air such as they might while drinking out of a garden hose.
The Great Dane's short coat is easy to groom. Frequent brushing and occasional baths will suffice. Nail care is important, and the nails should be kept short.
Exercise is vital to the care of a Great Dane. They need a daily walk for optimum happiness. Great Danes are not distance dogs, but their walk should be a good one, and they can usually walk a couple miles once they are fully grown. For safety and enjoyment, Great Dane care must include proper leash training and socialization. Playtime at a dog park is a good addition to a Great Dane's care.